Blind Alley (1939)

Passed   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Blind Alley (1939) Poster

Gangster Hal Wilson takes psychiatrist Dr. Shelby hostage. While captive, the doctor analyzes Wilson as though he were a patient.


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11 January 2009 | LCShackley
| The Shrink and the Screwball
This thriller isn't a bad way to spend 69 minutes, thanks to some decent acting, a good supporting cast of character players, and fast pacing. But the novelty of psychoanalysis-as-solution has worn off after 70 years, and most modern audiences have heard the "blame the parents" ploy so often that it seems hackneyed. The director includes some special effects which also might have seemed novel at the time but now seem amateurish.

Ralph Bellamy plays a teacher of psychoanalysis who has to put his theories to work on a mad killer who has decided to use the prof's country house as a temporary hideaway. Chester Morris is the trigger-happy escaped con in a part that would have been more compelling with Cagney or Bogie in the role. This adapted play is stage-bound but keeps enough interest going to make you stay put for the explosive ending.

Watch for John "Perry White" Hamilton in a very small, non-speaking part.

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